World Magazine
JAPAN: Cherry blossom season is at its peak, and for some amazing photos the world over, check out #sakura on Twitter or Instagram. The Japanese have an elaborate system of mapping bloom peaks and live web cams for watching them (but you have to take into account the 13-hour time difference between Washington and Tokyo).  Washington’s iconic Tidal Basin cherry blossoms have a complex—and not surprisingly political—heritage. UKRAINE: The
   
I recently read a one-sided story about a minister, Ken Wilson, who barred practicing homosexuals from his church back in the day. Extreme? He at least understood that homosexuality was a sin. But Wilson’s faith started to weaken after listening to anecdotes from members of his congregation about homosexuals in their families. He told the Detroit Free Press that being evangelical is about “welcoming previously excluded groups … to make the good news accessible to those who haven’t
   
Dictionary.com offers two definitions for scapegoat: “1. A person or group made to bear the blame for others or to suffer in their place; 2. Chiefly biblical. A goat let loose in the wilderness on Yom Kippur after the high priest symbolically laid the sins of the people on its head. Lev. 16:8,10, 26.” Both definitions seem to fit last week’s announcement of the “resignation” of Kathleen Sebelius, secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, who presided over the
   
Inappropriate art. A Boston man faces charges of disturbing the peace after dropping a suspicious backpack near the finish line of the Boston Marathon Tuesday. Following yesterday’s events commemorating the first anniversary of the Boston Marathon bombing, 25-year-old Kevin Edson walked barefoot in the street in the pouring rain chanting, “Boston strong!” according to The Boston Globe . He told police his backpack held a rice cooker. Police evacuated the area and blew up the bag as a
   
The possibility of a messy trial brings important reminders about Christian clarity
   
I chatted with a woman I happened to sit near at church on Sunday. I learned she works in Trenton, a good 30 miles from here. Getting to her job in New Jersey every morning requires a walk to a shopping mall to catch a bus to the train station, from which she takes a train to Trenton and walks the rest of the way to her office. She used to have a car but the transmission died without warning on the turnpike at 4 a.m. as she was driving to visit her brother in a hospital. By God’s grace
   
After weeks of restraint, Kiev launched a military operation Tuesday to regain control of eastern Ukraine—a move Moscow has warned against. Pro-Russian separatists have taken over government buildings in at least 10 towns and cities in eastern Ukraine during the past 10 days. Many of the activists are dressed in military fatigues and bulletproof vests and are carrying Russian machine guns. After storming the buildings, they replaced the Ukrainian flags with Russian ones and called for a
   
What to consider when seeing the movie based on the popular best-selling book
   
Only three days after a new law school at Trinity Western University (TWU) received its latest approval—this time from the Law Society of British Columbia—a potential student has filed suit over the school’s community covenant. That covenant requires students and employees to abstain from “sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.” Amrik Virk, the Minister of Advanced Education of British Columbia and a member of the Liberal Party,
   
New York City’s ban on churches renting public schools remains in place, but an appeal will allow worship services this Sunday
   
On a recent morning I met a friend for coffee, and a former pastor of mine happened to walk in. He had taken a call to another church a year ago, a much smaller congregation, I heard. When he spotted us, he came over to chat. He was glowing, from the inside out. He praised God and told us what he has been learning. He said that in the past he had measured his spirituality by how busy he was. Whenever there was a free minute he would fill it in with work or a committee meeting. He had been
   
Health Department documents show lack of inspections at New York abortion centers, and multiple problems at the few that were visited
   
Lunar show. Early risers this morning had front row seats for a “blood moon,” the result of a lunar eclipse that passed directly over the United States. The moon took on an orange-red hue as it passed through the Earth’s shadow between 2 and 4 a.m. EDT. Last night’s blood moon was the first of four consecutive total lunar eclipses, known as a “tetrad,” expected in six-month intervals between now and the fall of 2015. Stalemate. Speaking for the first time in more than two
   
One year after the Boston Marathon bombing, a local university silences discussion of radical Islam
   
As another school year comes to an end, debates over displaying graphic abortion photos on Christian college campuses continue. The latest flashpoint is Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va., where two students set up a sign on March 5, against school officials’ wishes, to educate students walking out of convocation about what aborted babies really look like. The poster depicted the severed hand of a 10-week-old aborted baby juxtaposed with Christ’s bloodied hand on the cross. A
   
If Douglas MacArthur or Ulysses S. Grant went to the U.S. Military Academy today, they might test their defensive skills hunched in front of a computer screen. Teams of caffeine-fueled cadets from five U.S. military academies spent long days in computer labs last week trying to fend off threats cooked up by experts at the National Security Agency (NSA). In the end, the West Point team won the annual Cyber Defense Exercise, beating out the Air Force, Naval, Coast Guard, and Merchant Marine
   
Court action. Abortion providers filed a petition April 10 requesting the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals to reconsider its March 27 decision to uphold new abortion laws in Texas. The challenged laws require abortion facilities to obtain admitting privileges at a local hospital and to adhere to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) protocol for administering abortion-inducing drugs. The petitioners argue that other state courts have blocked similar laws, The   Texas Tribune reported. At least
   
The Syrian government and rebel groups are pointing fingers in the assassination of Dutch Jesuit Priest Francis Van Der Lugt in his garden in Homs. No group has taken responsibility for the April 7 killing, in which a masked gunman entered the monastery and shot the priest in the head. Known as Father Frans, 75-year-old Van Der Lugt lived in Syria for 50 years and was determined to stay in the rebel-held Old City district of Homs to help suffering Muslim and Christian civilians even as
   
Anyone for a new game called “What’s Inappropriate?” It could be like “Where’s Waldo?” Find the reason a Christian isn’t allowed to post a particular statement on a website that usually cries out for more content in the hope of gaining more eyeballs. The Yahoo Contributor Network says it allows “writers, photographers, and videographers to share their knowledge and passion with hundreds of millions of people worldwide. … Reach for the stars. Contribute as many articles,
   
After Bubba Watson tapped in Sunday to win his second Masters Tournament in three years, his 2-year-old son wobbled toward the 18th green clapping his hands in imitation of the thousands surrounding the finishing hole at the Augusta National Golf Club. Watson rushed over to him, scooped him up, embraced his wife, and began to sob. When Watson won his first green jacket on Easter Sunday two years ago, he and his wife Angie had just adopted their wavy-haired Caleb, so Mom and son stayed
   
I own books. Many books. They are the tools of my academic trade. But they are also the highways of my political and even spiritual liberty. Access to my books is like my access to air. Seizing my books would be worse than placing me under house arrest. If books are important to you—as they should be—and if you are transitioning over to electronic books, you should consider your vulnerability to intellectual asphyxiation and political assault. Your access to ebooks depends first of
   
Hate crime. The man accused of a shooting attack at a Jewish community center and Jewish retirement complex near Kansas City is a known white supremacist and former Ku Klux Klan leader. Frazier Glenn Cross, 73, of Aurora, Mo., is charged with first-degree murder in the deaths of three people in Sunday’s attack in Overland Park, Kan. SITE, a U.S.-based terror monitoring group, described the suspect as a known and vocal anti-Semite who frequently calls for genocide against Jews. The
   
A federal judge in Ohio this morning formalized his ruling requiring the state to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. U.S. District Court Judge Timothy Black stayed the ruling pending appeal, meaning it would have no immediate impact on Ohio couples, but he said he would consider tomorrow whether to remove the stay. He invited lawyers for both sides to file arguments for and against putting the ruling into immediate effect. Black said he plans to rule quickly, probably
   
A poster child of women’s rights—a woman who should be every feminist’s dream—was disinvited from receiving an honorary degree at Brandeis University last week. Somebody really messed up in the home office. The 45-year-old Somali-born Ayaan Hirsi Ali (who WORLD profiled in 2007) would seem to have an impeccable resume: She is a member of a Dutch political party that’s liberal on drugs, abortion, and homosexuality. She is an atheist, having been “converted” to atheism through
   
UKRAINE: U.S. ambassador to the UN Samantha Power told the UN Security Council last night, “We are being bombarded by Russian disinformation and propaganda while the Ukrainians are being confronted by incitement and violence.” She said Russian media and government officials “are spreading fiction,” and the seizure of buildings in six towns in eastern Ukraine by pro-Russia armed units mirrors the way the invasion of Crimea began. Anyone feel a red line coming? A deadline
   
Volatility up. It was an up-and-down week on Wall Street last week. The Dow Jones Industrial Average had a number of 100-point days, and the Nasdaq had some triple-digit moves. Twitter, Facebook, and Netflix were all down dramatically at different times during the week. A week ago Friday, the Nasdaq fell 2.6 percent in a single day. Should we be worried there’s something structurally wrong with the economy? Most analysts say no.  They note the markets were also up a few days last
   
“On Wall Street you will hear many people give opinions,” a partner with a financial firm warned a group of interns. “You must learn to watch where people put their money and not where they say you ought to put it. Their actions will tell you more than their talk.” It was a good lesson, one that has application for biblical Christians. As Matthew wrote, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” A friend of mine named Wayne was severely tested in this area.
   
An excerpt from Rodney Stark’s How the West Won: The Neglected Story of the Triumph of Modernity
   
Country’s first Christian law school moves closer to reality
   
A Christian university in Oregon must decide where it stands theologically and legally as it responds to an anti-discrimination complaint filed last week by a transgender student.  The student, referred to in legal documents as Jayce M., came to George Fox University in Newberg, Ore., about 25 miles south of Portland, as a woman but has been in the process of legally, and physically, changing her gender. George Fox University administrators met throughout the year with Jayce, now a
   
The board of trustees meets over the controversy surrounding the school’s statement of faith
   
AFGHANISTAN: Perhaps one of the best living photojournalists remembers one who recently died—David Guttenfelder discusses the work of colleague Anja Niedringhaus, the AP photographer killed in Afghanistan on April 4. Lead vote-getters in last weekend’s presidential elections, Abdullah Abdullah and Ashrif Ghani, appear headed to a runoff. But a lot can happen between now and then: Preliminary results from the first round of voting aren’t expected until April 24, and there’s
   
Three recently captured drones provide the first concrete evidence that North Korea is using unmanned aircraft to infiltrate South Korean airspace, including the skies over the capital, Seoul.  All three drones crashed after engine or fuel troubles, leading to their discovery. The first came down in Paju, near the North Korean border, on March 24. Another crashed on the island of Baengnyeong on March 31—the same day the two nations exchanged fire across their territorial waters.
   
Republicans relish hearings for new HHS leader ahead of midterm elections
   
Highway tragedy. A FedEx tractor-trailer slammed into a bus carrying 44 high school students on a Northern California freeway Thursday afternoon, leaving 10 people dead in a fiery crash. The students came from a number of Southern California high schools and were on their way to visit Humboldt State University in a three-bus convoy. The university coordinated the trip to bring prospective students to tour its campus in Arcata, Calif.  The crash happened a little after 5:30 p.m. on
   
“The NCAA was founded in 1906 to protect young people from the dangerous and exploitive athletics practices of the time. Today, student-athlete health, safety and well-being remain among our top priorities.” This is how the governing body for major college athletics, describes itself on its website. At Tuesday’s postgame press conference with several players from the University of Connecticut national champion women’s basketball team, the NCAA’s moderator incessantly referred to
   
You know you’re not in the loop when you have to Google “business casual” and study the diagrams before going to an event. I pulled together a few things, and Barbara lent a scarf and blue boots to go with my only non-frayed pair of jeans, and I was set to go. My husband made a furtive phone call to Barb the day before the trip, and that night I was in her salon getting three inches of white roots nuked. But while we arrived safely in North Carolina, our luggage did not. I had mixed
   
East Lansing, Mich., continues to grieve Friday after the death of an 8-year-old girl the Michigan State University men’s basketball team counted as its biggest, most influential, fan. The little girl, affectionately known as “Princess Lacey” Holsworth, finally succumbed to the cancer she had battled since 2011. Her father, Matt Holsworth, said Lacey died at their home late Tuesday “with her mommy and daddy holding her in their arms.” The family is planning a memorial service on
   
Editor’s note: Stephen C. Meyer is the director of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute. A former geophysicist and university professor, he also authored the 2009 book touting the case for intelligent design, Signature in the Cell , and the more recent Darwin’s Doubt , a 2013 New York Times bestseller. Daniel James Devine interviewed Meyer at the recent WORLD Weekend event in Asheville, N.C., headquarters of World News Group. I guess the impression I get when I hear
   
The Library of Congress recently added the work of Christian rock innovator Larry Norman to the National Recording Registry, an elite collection of recordings marked for special preservation as “cultural, artistic, or historical treasures.” Norman is the first Christian rock artist to be chosen, making the list with his groundbreaking 1972 folk-rock album Only Visiting This Planet. Of the 25 artists selected this year, Norman keeps company with the likes of Stephen Sondheim, Bing Crosby,
   
 
   
 
   
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